Little Miracle on the Way!

maggie winterton on devotional divaI’m writing this post on my 3rd wedding anniversary.

When I was younger, I always used to imagine being pregnant on my 3rd anniversary. I guess I just thought that would be a good time to have my first baby. And I wanted a May baby, because my home state of Iowa usually has pretty good weather in May.

Both of those teenage dreams are coming true!

My husband, Brandon, and I are expecting our first baby in May 2015 (I’m beginning the 2nd trimester now). My official due date is actually the day after Mother’s Day, which I think is kind of cool.

I’m so excited to finally share this with you because this baby is an absolute miracle to me. I believe all living things are blessings (well, maybe not ants…I really hate ants!) but after the year I’ve had, there was some doubt about my fertility.

I don’t know if this is something I’m ready to fully write about yet…It was a painful experience and I don’t think it has been long enough for me to process. And this is supposed to be a joyful post. So I’ll try to keep this part short.

It’s something I’ve kept mostly a secret, but I’ve been dealing with serious pelvic pain since January (although it has improved during my pregnancy, thank the Lord!). Pelvic pain isn’t something that is easy to talk about! The main reason this whole situation is so emotionally painful is because I was not treated well by the doctors in charge of my care. Because of that, I still don’t know why I even had the pelvic pain.

And since we didn’t know what the cause was, we didn’t know what the fertility situation was. Depending on what was actually going on, there were many things that could prevent having a healthy baby. Brandon and I planned for a year that summer 2014 would be our time to try to have a baby.

I’ll admit, I did let the negativity of my possible fertility issues get to me. But something inside of me told me that it would be okay – and I had faith in that.

In just three months of “trying,” our little miracle happened. Surprisingly, I haven’t even worried that much about miscarrying (and I’m the queen of worrying).

I’ve just felt so peaceful and had so much faith in the Lord that this baby is meant to be ours.

Everything is just so wonderful and working out perfectly. Not-so-ironically, Sarah Coleman’s guest post on peaceful pregnancy was set to be published just a few days after we found out about Baby Winterton.

God is more powerful than anything going on in my body. I believe having faith that He would give us the precious baby we prayed for aided us even further. A conscious effort to keep positive thoughts can’t hurt; and doing so really helped me feel less stressed.

Nurturing others is what I think God made me to do. That’s why I love being the editor of Devotional Diva; helping women share their stories here is so fulfilling to me. When I felt down about the unknowns of my fertility, I thought, “I would give up everything to just be able to be a mom.”

God has fulfilled this prayer of ours and given us a little miracle. I can’t tell you how good it feels to just have so much faith in the health of our baby. Take it from this worrier, it’s much more enjoyable to relax and be positive.

So, if this baby is a girl, obviously she’ll be a “Little Diva.” But what if it’s a boy? Should we call him a Divo? 🙂

P.S. If you’re from the States, thank you, Veterans, for your service!

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Letting Go

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I recently let go of something that was really, really bugging me. Sometimes, I hang onto issues that are bothering me until something happens that makes me get pretty angry. And then, because I hate being angry and upset…I’m just able let go. And it’s the sweetest feeling.

There’s nothing sweeter than letting go.

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Christmas Guest Post Series: Submit Your Stories!

 devotional diva christmas guest post seriesI wanted to take this opportunity to announce the 2014 Devotional Diva Christmas Guest Post Series!

This is an idea I came up with for my first Christmas as editor-in-chief here. I knew I definitely wanted to have Christmas-themed guest posts during December, but didn’t really know how to go about it. I came up with a “theme” that I would like all of the guest posts from December 9th – 23rd to follow.

Since we have a Tuesday/Thursday guest post schedule, that means there’s only 5 official spots. However, depending on the response I receive, I’m open to adding more spots on other days between those dates.

Now, are you ready for the theme? I’d like to hear your stories about…

The Gifts God has Given You

The holiday time is really focused on gifts — but I want to bring some of that attention back to God.

I’m looking for guest posts that are about amazing things that have happened in your life — events, actions of others, or just the way things happened for you — that were truly gifts from God.

Just to be clear, I’m not looking for what talents God has given you (that would be a cool future guest post series, though!). I want to know what miracles have happened in your life. I want to know what people have come into your life at just the perfect moment. I want to know what breathtaking surprises from God you never saw coming.

This is a way to praise God and show gratitude for what amazing works He has done for you! While we’re getting & giving gifts to our friends & family, let’s celebrate Jesus’ birthday by talking about the gifts He has already given us!

Devotional Diva’s guidelines for guest posts are: 500-700 words with a 3-4 sentence bio and a current picture. Email your submissions or queries to editor@devotionaldiva.com

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have!

I hope you’re as excited about this series as I am, and I look forward to reading your stories!

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photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

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Bible Translations, the MEV Bible & Giveaway

bible-translations-mev

I remember sitting at my friend’s house when I was about 8 years old, looking at the new Bible she had received.

King James Version? I thought. Isn’t it just the Bible?

Of course, I had my own Bible. It was also the KJV, but I guess I never noticed the inscription on the title page. It was years until I understood why there were different versions of the Bible, and learned that there were so many! As a child, it seemed confusing to me. I knew that there was only one Word. How could there be different Bibles?

Only recently did I start using and really looking at different versions. The Bible I’ve been using personally is the New Living Translation (NLT). I’ve found that it is very easy to connect with. However, using the awesome Bible Gateway, I often like to see what other versions say for any given verse. Sometimes I do it to help me understand.

It’s kind of like when you’re playing the game Taboo (or Password) — different words, phrases, or descriptions can help you  understand. If you’ve never played Taboo, one player tries to describe a word without actually using the word and their partner must guess what the word is. Maybe one descriptor doesn’t connect with your brain when you’re guessing, but the next one might give you more information to understand.

When you’re studying the Bible, isn’t the whole point to try to understand better or gain more insight into God’s Word? That’s why I think it’s useful to look at other translations.

I’ll be candid — I do think it kind of sucks that we have to deal with translations of the Bible. But that’s just what happens when there are so many languages. I speak English, and unfortunately that’s not what the books of the Bible were originally written in. Since that’s where we’re at, I’ll go ahead and take advantage of the many versions of the Bible to try to understand God more.

The King James Version of the Bible is commonly held as the “Gold Standard.” I know that some studies require the use of it. I’m no Bible scholar in any way, shape or form, but the KJV has held up for hundreds of years. The new Modern English Version (MEV Bible) is basically the contemporary version of the KJV.

The problem I have with the KJV (and why I prefer the NLT) is that it’s older language. It’s harder to understand sometimes. It’s harder to connect with sometimes. For me, it’s also harder to memorize scripture through it.

I had the privilege of looking over the Modern English Version, and I’m really impressed. Here’s a quick example:

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (KJV)

And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. (MEV)

The MEV is a literal translation, and is translated word-for-word rather than thought-by-thought. I don’t want to go deep into the translations and how it compares to other versions. It is very similar to the King James Version since that’s what the MEV is based on.

But it’s so much easier for me to understand the Modern English Version. It’s so much lighter and easier to read. But it doesn’t water down the scripture either.

I’m thrilled to be able to share another giveaway with you! I have FOUR copies of the SpiritLed Promise Books on Hope & Assurance ready to be sent out! They’re filled with tons of scripture, sorted by topic in the MEV translation. Really handy!

To enter the giveaway, please use the rafflecopter widget below. I’m trying rafflecopter out for Devotional Diva because it’s an easier way to do giveaways. Let me know if you’re having any problems with it, though! You can use Facebook OR your email to enter.

There are TWO ways to earn entries:

1. Answer the question, “What is your favorite Bible translation?”

2. Like Devotional Diva on Facebook

This giveaway IS international!! Anyone is welcome to enter 🙂

I will let the giveaway run for one week, and then choose the winners at random. Please be prepared to send your mailing address to me if you win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: The MEV Bible and the SpiritLed Promise Books on Hope & Assurance were graciously provided to me. All opinions remain my own!

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photo credit: __o__ via photopin cc

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God is Light

1 john 1:5

 

I hope you’re enjoying these little Saturday blips. Today, a quick inspiration and pick-me-up at the end of your week!

God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

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Home

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I wrote this post a week in advance, because I’m blessed enough to be at home right now. I currently live in California, but I couldn’t wait to get back to Iowa and see my family.

I was searching for quotes on family when I came across this

Home isn’t a place; it’s a feeling.

And that’s the little sentiment I’d like to leave you with today 🙂

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Move Forward

move forward on devotional diva

Welcome to another Saturday on Devotional Diva! Like I said before, I want to have short and sweet content on Saturdays. Today, I’m sharing a little food for thought. This is a quote I heard the other day and it’s stuck with me.

“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.”

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How Can You Make Your Life Less Stressful?

I thought we would just try some new things out for Saturdays. I always appreciate your input, so please let me know if you’re enjoying Saturdays (or maybe not enjoying them so much!)

This week, I wanted to give you something to think about. Due to my family’s move, this week has been so stressful.

So I resolved to do something to change that, and I invite you to do the same!

make your life less stressful on devotional diva

 

How can you make your life less stressful?

If you would like to share, leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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Choose Love + Giveaway!

choose love by stormie omartian on devotional diva

I was thrilled when I was contacted to review Stormie Omartian’s new book Choose Love because she was one of the first Christian writers I ever read.

The title also caught my attention. As a Christian living in this 2014 world, I often think about love (or lack thereof).

To me, love is the most important “thing” to have, experience and give.

Choose Love is broken down into three choices:

1. Choose to Receive God’s Love for You:

Stormie writes, “Many people don’t really know God, so they don’t know His love. They know what good, bad, or erroneous things people have told them about God, but they don’t know Him. And I am talking about some of the many who believe in Him as well as those who doubt Him. Understanding God’s love for us is a never-ending quest that will not be full realized until we are with Him in heaven.”

2. Choose to Express Your Love for God:

“You express your love for God when you trust Him in all things. Thinking you don’t need Him except in an emergency or crisis does not please Him. You show love for God when you recognize your own weakness and dependence upon Him. It tells God that you don’t want to even try to make it through a day without Him.”

3. Choose to Love Others in a Way That Pleases God

“There is a price to pay for lovelessness, but the good news is that we don’t have to live this way. God can free us from all of that and keep our hearts filled with His love. But there is a choice we make. We choose to let our heart overflow with God’s love, we choose to express our love for Him, and in the process our heart of love overflows to others. This is seen in the way we talk to and act toward people, and it pleases them as well as God.”

In the King James Version of The Bible, the word “love” (not including its variations) is mentioned 314 times.

And one of the most famous, well-known verses is this:

John 3:16

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (NLT)

That’s love. And we, as disciples of the Lord, should learn to choose love over hate more often.

 

Would you like to win a copy of Choose Love? I have been given 3 copies for a giveaway. Just leave a comment below! A winner will be chosen at random. Sadly, this giveaway is for US residents only. Sorry international Divas!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

 

(Parts of this article have been excerpted from Choose Love by Stormie Omartian. Used with permission).

FTC: I received Choose Love for review. All opinions are my own.

photo credit: Shereen M via photopin cc

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